From Gary Paulsen:
One of my favorite preachers from long ago is Edward Payson. He taught in Portland, Maine from 1811-1830. I found this small excerpt from one of his sermons helpful this week. I hope you are encouraged too.
"The Christian enjoys communion with God in all the dispensations of his providence. He not only acknowledges, but feels and rejoices, that the Lord reigns, that all events are at his disposal, and that not a hair can fall from his head, or a sparrow to the ground, without him. He does not rest in second causes, nor ascribe the events which befall him to luck and chance, as mankind are naturally prone to do; but refers them at once to the great First Cause, and last end of all things.
With the eye of faith, he looks up and beholds his God, his Father, and his friend, seated on the throne of the universe, working all things according to the counsel of his own will, and causing them to work together for his own glory and the good of his people. If he is chastised, he looks not at the rod, but at the hand that holds it, knows that in faithfulness and mercy he is afflicted, and that though his afflictions for the present are not joyous, they shall, in the end produce the peaceable fruits of righteousness, and work out for him an eternal weight of glory.
When he is favored with peace and prosperity, and his cup is made to overflow with blessings, he rests not in the streams, but follows them up to the fountain of goodness, from which they flow; and every temporal mercy which he receives, is rendered doubly sweet by the consideration that it comes from his Father’s hand, and is new proof of his Father’s love.
Thus he enjoys communion with God, in all the common mercies and events of life; his heart, like a fertile field, which the Lord has blessed, brings forth in return fruit to the glory of God and eternal life, while its grateful language is, What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits?"